Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Good Idea, Cleaning, and "Stuck"

Now here’s a good idea: Researchers Launch Anti-Spyware Site. You can bet I’ll bookmark this site when it becomes available. Spyware is one of the internet’s most despicable curses, every bit the equal of spam, and a lot more dangerous. Related: Washington State Sues Over Spam, Spyware.

Got all motivated and did some serious cleaning today. I have a question for the Domestic Engineers among my readership. I use Johnson and Johnson’s “Scrubbing Bubbles” bathroom cleaner. The directions don’t specify whether to use the foam on dry or wet surfaces, i.e., should I wet down the shower stall before I spray the cleaner all over everything, including me? I’ve done both wet and dry, but I seem to use two or three times as much cleaner on dry surfaces. The results seem to be about equal, with slightly better results by spraying on dry surfaces. Can’t let this thought go by without saying “I hate housework!”

Here’s something I’ve always wondered about: Why do most people seem to get “stuck” in a particular era when it comes to music? I’m a sucker for threads on music; I’ll read most anything on the subject. I recall one commenter in a “70s vs. 80s” music thread saying “The best music ever made was made when you were a senior in high school.” I don’t agree. I graduated in 1963 and the music was pretty damned lame during that time, what with the Beach Boys’ paeans to hot-rods and beach bunnies being the most popular stuff at the time (in LA). That era gave us such luminaries as Leslie Gore (It’s My Party”), Bobby Vee, Bobby Vinton, and other eminently forgettable pop artists. There were exceptions, and some great ones, like the Girl Groups (the Crystals, the Ronettes, the Chiffons, Martha and The Vandellas) and just about anything and everything classified as early “soul,” e.g., Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, The Drifters, and James Brown, just to name four. So, with exceptions as noted, the early 60s sucked. QED.

I don’t believe I’m stuck in an era, but I could be wrong. My boys will probably disagree immediately, simply because I don’t like hip-hop, and they do. I have my favorite eras; it's hard to beat the 70s and 80s for sheer variety and creativity. I still buy new music, but not nearly as much as I did back in the day, say the 70s and 80s. But, back to the question at hand. Do people get stuck because they drop out? Music begins to slide down the priority scale once one begins raising children and gets serious about a career. But that’s not a good answer, because my Mom never got “stuck.” She maintained a cutting edge taste in music until the day she died. As a matter of fact, my Mom turned me on to quite a few artists, from her “old days” and from the at-the-time-present, too. My last girlfriend was/is about my age, and that woman was stuck! On Elvis. No one could possibly be better. I may have changed her mind when I introduced her to Van Morrison, who, by the way, isn't a 70s artifact. Van released a new album in 2005, and it's not bad. Yes, I bought it.

So. Why DO people get stuck? Inquiring minds wanna know!

(Now playing: Devo's “Whip It!” Just before: Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark’s “If You Leave”)


  1. I think parents are the first big influence on us musically. When I learned how to work the record player, the only records my dad had were Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys - not too bad. My dad also loved the big bands of the Forties. Then friends and peers are the next big influence. Growing up in Red River, NM, the music was folksy/country/bluegrass. There was a popular musical group in RR that patterned themselves after The Kingston Trio. From this group Ray Wylie Hubbard, Michael Murphy, Jerry Jeff Walker and others were born. I guess that means I was country when country wasn't cool. Then with Urban Cowboy it became cool. I was socially retarded when it came to rock-n-roll. I was rescued by my husband who had older sisters with good music tastes. My daughter has been a good influence too. I find myself listening to today's music more and more along with oldies (which my daughter loves too). I rarely listen to country anymore although my hippie/lawyer brother introduces me to some interesting music from Austin. The best thing about my parent's mucical influence was that they taught me to two-step and swing, and I do love to dance.

  2. I don't think there is such a thing as "good music taste". There is at least some good music in every genre. I tend to not like country so much, but it's just a personal preference not because there's something wrong with it. I grew up copying what my older brothers liked which was psychedelic and hard rock, the stuff you hear on the "classic rock" stations today. But that isn't what my peers were listening to. My mother always liked a variety of different music as well, and if you go in her house today you might hear anything from classical to opera to the classic rock station playing. She also loves Bruce Springsteen and somebody burned her a CD, and I get people laughing when I tell them about my 78 year old mother with a bootleg Springsteen CD.


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